Lack of Full Time Testers is Joomla’s Biggest Problem

A few weeks ago, we discussed the main advantages that WordPress has over Joomla. One of these advantages is the fact that WordPress has full time developers and a huge testing team. Of course, for those of us working with Joomla, we know that this isn’t the case for our beloved CMS.

Joomla is supported by volunteer developers (who are highly dedicated) and by a volunteer testing team. Now any programmer worth his salt knows 3 things: 1) he cannot say that his code is “fully tested” when he’s the only one who tested it, 2) any code should never ever be made live without thorough testing, and 3) a simple line of code may unknowingly impact many areas of a product.

If you know how development on the Joomla core works, then you will know that the heart of the problem is the word “thorough” in the previous sentence, simply because the testing is anything but thorough. Let us explain the issue with an example of how a bug is handled:

  • Someone reports a bug to the Joomla development team.
  • A Joomla developer addresses the bug.

  • Other developers test the feature that the bug fix addressed.

  • The bug fix is packaged and prepared for the next Joomla release.

  • The Joomla release is tested shortly before its launch. The testing consists of installing the new Joomla version with some demo data onto someone’s PC and tinkering with that install.

Obviously, there are some serious flaws in the above process:

  • The bug fix may cause issues in areas other than the area addressed by the bug.
  • The testing done does not take into consideration the impact of the bug fix on the product as a whole.

  • The testing is oblivious to the concept of “3rd party extensions” in Joomla and is done on a pure Joomla website.

  • The testing completely ignores the impact of this simple bug fix on large datasets, because the demo data that is used for the testing consists of just a few articles.

We can give you a proof for each of the points mentioned above. For example, a few revisions ago, Joomla changed the ordering algorithm of articles. The change was meant to address a performance issue caused by the old article ordering algorithm. Some developers tested the change and it was made live in the next revision. Less than an hour after the release, many Joomla administrators flooded the developers with complaints about the new ordering algorithm, as it confused them by pushing newer articles to the very bottom of the articles’ list. Obviously, a consensus was reached shortly after and the change was reverted.

There are many, many other examples, but we don’t think it’s necessary to list them all to get our point across.

But what is the solution?

The solution is for Joomla to hire a full testing team, and to give testing a priority, and to test with real data (e.g. copy real large websites onto a dev environment and then test these websites there). Obviously, more money is needed to accomplish this, and so Joomla must be slightly less conservative when it comes to its tight techniques to raising money.

We hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions about it, then please leave a comment below. If you need help with your Joomla website, then please contact us. Our work is clean, our skills are solid, and our fees are affordable!

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